Jan 312015
 

HiatusAfter a year hiatus, I am back facilitating the flow of knowledge through the Knowledge Management Depot. During my absence we had concluded 2013 in KM which presented, an increase of social media tools being incorporated in the workplace, the rise of analytics and BIG Data to tie KM to actionable business results,  and knowledge related tools on mobile applications; while in the year just concluded (2014) we experienced more enterprise collaboration, a rise in search related tools and functionality (incorporating Information Architecture) within mobile and enterprise applications to improve findability and to respond to customer inquiries more effectively and efficiently. Now as we enter 2015, I see several opportunities where KM will make an impact.

In 2015 KM will impact M&A transactions specifically when it comes to understanding who the key knowledge holders are and to properly give a valuation to a firms knowledge, the legal community is experiencing success with KM and more legal entities will be leveraging KM in 2015,  BIG Data continues to make noise in the industry and how KM will be positioned to gleam knowledge from all of this proliferation of content will be critical to organization (NASA-KM-meeting-Big-Data-Strategy) and interacting with the customer will continue to leverage KM to provide organizations with a competitive edge to not only attract new customers but also to retain and provide more interaction with the  current  customer base (Forrester’s Top Trends in Customer Service)

Although I have been absent… I have been busy!! I am concluding my next book on KM “Knowledge Management in Practice” as well as a two (2) day class in Information Architecture for Knowledge Management Systems. I look forward to your comments and to participating in knowledge management as 2015 unfolds!

Dec 312013
 
Default search results

Default search results using faceted search

In my upcoming publication Knowledge Management in Practice I detail search in a chapter called “Dude Where’s my Car: Utilizing Search in KM”. At the KM World Taxonomy Boot Camp I spoke about Utilizing Ontologies for Taxonomy & Content Organization and during this discussion there were questions concerning faceted search. Before the year ends (literally) I wanted to provide some details concerning faceted search.

Faceted search

Faceted search offers remarkable potential for putting the search experience in the hands of the user. It provides a flexible framework by which users can satisfy a wide variety of information needs, ranging from simple look up and fact retrieval to complex exploratory search and discovery scenarios.

With faceting, search results are grouped under useful headings, using tags you apply ahead of time to the documents in your index. For example, the results of a shopping query for books might be grouped according to the type of book and the price.

Each time the user clicks a facet value, the set of results is reduced to only the items that have that value. Additional clicks continue to narrow down the search — the previous facet values are remembered and applied again.

Faceted search results provide an easy-to-scan, browse and display that helps users quickly narrow down each search. The faceting tags that you store with your documents provide a way to add your own taxonomy to directly control the presentation of search results. In the end, it’s about helping the user find the right information. Faceted search gives a user the power to create an individualized navigation path, drilling down through successive refinements to reach the right document. This more effectively mirrors the intuitive thought patterns of most users. Faceted search has become an expected feature, particularly for commerce sites.

However, before you get too deep into the intricacies of faceted search, it is extremely important that you develop use cases or user stories around your search scenarios mentioned earlier. A great way to get started is to identify the main concepts you would like to search (people, reports, policies, etc.); next create logical categories (start by building or leveraging a taxonomy) for each group (Engineers, Executives, Administrators, etc.) a card sort exercise will be helpful here, and finally create (or use a current) information/content model showing relationships and considering navigation paths.

This will put you on a path to realizing the benefits of faceted search!

Mar 012011
 
dude wheres my car searchHave you ever experienced a situation when your search just did not return that document on your content management system you were looking for? You may have known part of the title or what some of the contents were but you couldn’t put your finger on it. You executed the latest search mechanisms on the site and you had to weed through several pages of content searching for that elusive piece of information. Then finally after a period of time (who knows how long) you either find it (OH Yea!) or give up in frustration (@%#&#^#).

A possible cure for your dilemma, as well as mine and countless others, is to implement a taxonomy and/or ontology into the information architecture of your intranet, SharePoint, or other orgainizational content management/knowledge repository. You now may be asking yourself, what in the world is a taxonomy? Or ontology?

Taxonomy and ontology explained

Simply put, a taxonomy is a hierarchical classification or framework for information retrieval. Ontology is a classification/specification of concepts (see more on ontology). For you SharePoint users out there, leveraging Content Types and Metadata along with a solid taxonomy will greatly enhance your search to return what you are looking for, while leveraging an ontology will provide another level of search accuracy – leveraging concepts, or conceptual searching. Taxonomies are the basis of classfication schemes and indexing systems in information management (see more on taxonomy).

There are many tools and possible solutions available to solve our search dilemma. Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be looking into the various solutions and finding out what folks are doing to address our search dilemma. So, once and for all we can answer the question: Dude Wher’s My Car?